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torwood Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Dec 2010Mon 05-Dec-11 02:53 AM
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"I'm so depressed over my D7000"


Jefferson Hills, US
          

I got my D7000 right before Thanksgiving, and only this weekend finally got to shoot with it. I shot three youth basketball games (8th grade, 7th grade, and 4th grade). I shoot those games with my AFS 35 f1.8, 50 f1.8D, and 85 f1.8D. As I was shooting, I was really enjoying the camera. The AF speed and FPS speed is a definite upgrade from my D90. The exposure is also more accurate shooting at f1.8-2.8, auto-ISO, 1/500 min, and ISO 3200 max. I shoot AF-C, single point (center), continous High. I was getting shots I couldn't get with the D90. I couldn't wait to get home, download and look at the images.

Maybe 10% were sharply focused. Almost nothing was in focus with the 50mm lens. The 85mm was a little better. The 35mm was best, but still, very few sharp images. I thought maybe it was my poor technique. I have a tendency to struggle with this in basketball, which is why I upgraded to a better AF system. As I studied the images, I noticed that often the player standing right behind my target was sharp, and my focus subject was soft. Even when only one player was in the image, and I could not have miss-targeted, the player was often soft, and the floor boards indicated that the camera focused a few feet behind the target. That is all it takes at f1.8 and you're going to be soft.

I fear I've got the dreaded "D7000 back-focus" problem. And, I'm literally depressed and despondent over it. The camera has so much better performance at high ISO than my D90. It is a marvel of handling, nearly identical to the D90 and D50 that I used for the last six years. The price is less than half of the D700. But, it's worthless if it can't focus and take sharp images, or track a moving 4th grader coming right toward the camera. I spent the entire day trying not to think about it, because I don;t know what to do. I googled "D7000 back-focus" and Focus problems, and now I'm even more depressed - the wailing and nashing of teeth is ubiquitous. I could send this thing back four times, and still not get one that is right. Meanwhile, I'll miss the whole basketball season, which is the only reason I upgraded from the D90.

Now my choices are bad and worse. I can send it back for an exchange, and fight the vendor, since it's been longer than 7 days. I can send it to Nikon and be without it for God knows how long. I can try to tweak AF with the fine-tuning (for EVERY lens), and then wonder every time I shoot it if I'm filling the card with junk. I can sell it on EBAY, for whatever I can get, and be back where I started (minus the loss), without a low-light upgrade option that I can afford. The D300 has the same sensor as the D90, and I can't justify the cost of the D700.

I just needed to vent a little, because this was a big purchase for me, and I was really excited about the camera. I feel really cheated that Nikon put these things out there with this fatal flaw. This apparently isn't a one-off bad sample. I didn't do the firmware update - could that possibly make a difference. Sucks that you even have to do THAT. I'll take any suggestions. Maybe I should sell all of my Nikon gear and switch to Canon? That is what my friend said (after he stopped laughing at the tragedy of it). He loves his 60D and 100-400L (with USM - do you HEAR me NIKON???) for football and baseball.

I usually am not this prone to self pity, and I'm sure that there is a way out, but it's going to be a whole hell of a lot of effort that I don't have the time or energy for. Maybe I should send Nikon a bill for my time?

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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luckyphoto Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Dec 2010Mon 05-Dec-11 03:33 AM
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#1. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 0


Port Charlotte, US
          

Please don't automatically jump on the "Back-focus mania" bus. Many of the back focus issues turned out to be user error and lack of familiarity with the D7000. One notable issue is poor technique. The D7000 is more motion sensitive than a D90 due to the density of sensels on the DX sensor.

Put the camera on a tripod and take some photos with different lenses. Most likely you'll find that it focuses fine. Worst case is that you do have a focus issue, but at least you have conclusive proof.

Also look at your focus points in post processing to see where the camera actually focused. The D7000 has multiple AF options and it may be some AF setting you need to change.

For what it's worth, there are tons of us with D7000's that focus perfectly so I don't think it's an inherent flaw with the design.

Larry

"Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right
....and which is an illusion"

Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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bassman1946 Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Mar 2007Mon 05-Dec-11 03:41 AM
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#2. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 1


Petersburg, US
          

I shoot BB with a D3 and 7k. The % of keepers with the D3 is much higher than the 7k. Also you are using "D" lenses, which will not focus as fast as afs lens do. I find that concentrating on good single shots gives a higher % of keepers with the 7k that does trying to follow a moving player. The focus just won't keep up. Just keep practicing, it will get better. Plus its still fun.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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JosephK Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Mon 05-Dec-11 04:25 AM
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#3. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 0


Seattle, WA, US
          

My first thought is that your auto-focus settings might need some tweaking. What are all of your AF settings set to?

---------+---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II, 50mm f/1.4 D,
17-55mm f/2.8 DX, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Mon 05-Dec-11 05:57 AM
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#4. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond, US
          

If it's your camera, it won't matter what kind of shots they are, they'll all be off. So if your landscape shots and your pictures of the grand kids aren't also mis-focused - the same way and by the same amount - it's not the camera.

At f/1.8 you have far less tolerance than you do at other apertures.

The first thing to do - next time - is review the focus targets when you're chimping. Find that option on your camera and turn it on, then look at them as you're shooting. Did you get lock-in? Is it where you think it ought to be?

This time, load the files into ViewNX and look for focus points.

Post one here and we'll help you figure it out. While back focusing cameras and lenses do occur, 99% of the time it's user error.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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MikeW2ck Silver Member Charter MemberMon 05-Dec-11 07:21 AM
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#5. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 4
Mon 05-Dec-11 07:22 AM by MikeW2ck

US
          

I think it's the lenses more than anything. Bouncy ball players move awfully fast and if you're shooting them with the lenses you described in continuous focus I am not surprised at the results.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Uscbryan Registered since 01st Jun 2010Mon 05-Dec-11 08:01 PM
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#17. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 4
Mon 05-Dec-11 09:05 PM by briantilley

Irvine, US
          

Not to hijack this thread but I recently found the function to see where the focus points are. I know I can see them on the camera screen but will it show up in Lightroom 3 as will or does it have to be in Nikons software?

Thanks

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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cosmicfires Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Nov 2011Wed 07-Dec-11 04:11 AM
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#46. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 17


US
          

>Not to hijack this thread but I recently found the function
>to see where the focus points are. I know I can see them on
>the camera screen but will it show up in Lightroom 3 as will
>or does it have to be in Nikons software?

Apple Aperture can show focus points, there's a little icon in the meta data pane that looks like some focus points to show them.

  

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Mon 05-Dec-11 08:25 AM
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#6. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 0


Paignton, GB
          

>Now my choices are bad and worse. I can send it back for an
>exchange, and fight the vendor, since it's been longer than 7
>days. I can send it to Nikon and be without it for God knows
>how long. I can try to tweak AF with the fine-tuning (for
>EVERY lens), and then wonder every time I shoot it if I'm
>filling the card with junk. I can sell it on EBAY, for
>whatever I can get...

You don't list what is perhaps the most obvious choice - spend some time learning the camera and how to set it up - in particular the AF system - and how to handle it to get the results you expect. One outing with the camera is not likely to be enough. Give us some idea of your camera settings and we'll do all we can to help

>I feel really cheated that Nikon put these things out there
>with this fatal flaw.

There really isn't a general "fatal flaw" with the D7000, although a cursory examination of complaints by lesss experienced users at certain websites might easily lead you think there is.

We have had numerous examples in this Forum of new D7000 owners being disappointed after a couple of days' use, but after a time most if not all of them adjusted their approach and/or expectations and became very happy with the results

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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torwood Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Dec 2010Mon 05-Dec-11 05:58 PM
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#11. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 6


Jefferson Hills, US
          

Brian: There really is a significant, if not fatal, flaw with the production of this camera. If I google "D700 backfocus" or "D300 backfocus", or "D90 backfocus", I don't get anywhere near the number of "problems". If those cameras don't have problems because they have "pro" AF systems, or not enough pixels to tell the difference, then the fault is still Nikon's for upping the resolution without enough AF horsepower to keep up.

I'm not saying my camera is a bad sample (read my post below). I haven't done enough testing to determine that. I also concede that my approach and technique can be improved. I'm nowhere near as good as I want to be. Although, it would be damn annoying to have to upgrade small, fast, AFD prime lenses to keep up with a camera.

That said, many who have complained about backfocus are more experienced/skilled than me. So, there must be a problem. I just hope I can prove to myself that it's not the problem I have.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Mon 05-Dec-11 09:09 PM
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#19. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 11


Paignton, GB
          

>
>That said, many who have complained about backfocus are more
>experienced/skilled than me. So, there must be a problem.

I don't buy that, I'm afraid. There are also many people out there - of varying skill levels - who are getting great results from the D7000. Some of them might have had to adjust their approach after moving from another camera, but others seem to be happy from day one.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003Mon 05-Dec-11 08:39 AM
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#7. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 0


Yorkshire, GB
          

The images in your gallery confirm you know how to shoot indoor basketball to a good standard
As they were taken in 2010 they are likely on the D90.
Whilst the D7000 has more AF points and AF options than the D90 and some of the changes can take a bit of getting used to there is no reason why a D7000 cannot take good shots similar to those in the gallery.
Posting an image or a link to an image with the EXIF intact might help identify what your problem might be.
My guess is it is something to do with your AF settings.

Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

Len Shepherd

  

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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Mon 05-Dec-11 02:32 PM
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#8. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 0


Atlanta, US
          

Okay - lets take it one step at a time.

The 16mp of the D7000 does require some adjustment. The D200 had similar challenges with a large step up in image size and many of us had to discard all images from the first few outings.

I would rule out back-focus, front-focus, and focus fine tuning at this point.

I use AF-C with release priority. By definition it will create more out of focus images, but you will get the benefit of "near focus" images. I found that while AF-A works in theory, it was not fast enough to recognize critical motion where a switch to AF-C was required.

AF-C uses an enhanced predictive tracking capability. While this works if the focus point is on the subject, it can make things more challenging with the Focus/Recompose approach. With predictive tracking, the camera can confuse Focus/Recompose for subject motion and attempt to retain focus on the original target.

Single point AF is good but requires a lot of practice. With the D7000, Single AF is less forgiving than with earlier cameras. You might find dynamic Focus is worth experimenting with for sports.

I find the distinction between 39 point and 11 point AF is important - especially if you are using the shutter release for focus. Moving across the frame with 39 points can take too much time to follow action, so 11 point is probably better. With back button focus I think the 39 point approach is easier.

Aperture settings matter. While f/1.8 is fast from a light perspective, it offers an incredibly shallow depth of field. Even with a fast lens, I find it is tough to use anything wider than f/3.5 if the subject is moving around a lot.

As far as firmware is concerned, any system tweaks from Nikon are in the firmware updates so I would be sure to update before another outing.

Hope this helps.

Eric Bowles
Nikonians Team
My Gallery
Workshops

Nikonians membership — my most important photographic investment, after the camera

  

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dbvisions Silver Member Nikonian since 25th Jan 2011Mon 05-Dec-11 04:00 PM
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#9. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 8
Mon 05-Dec-11 04:27 PM by dbvisions

Ringgold, US
          

I shot several of my son's basketball games and a dog agility trial when I first got my D7000 last winter. At first I thought something was wrong with the camera because of so many out of focus images. I was using 50mm f1.8D, and 85mm f1.4D lenses. I could get great stills but action images were a problem. That improved dramatically after I changed the 'Custom Setting a1' for AF-C to "focus priority" instead of "release priority". There had been very few usable near-to-focused images and lots of OOF ones when using the default of "release priority". Near-focused was just not good enough.

The best images I got came from trying my 35mm f1.8G. It did not have enough reach for use in an arena even though the focusing was right. Those images still looked pretty good even after extensive cropping. So, focus speed had a lot to do with it, also.

I found that the D-lenses were indeed too slow to focus for photos of fast action basketball and running dogs. Switching to newer lenses that focused more quickly along with changing to focus priority for 'Custom Setting a1' made a huge difference in my percentage of usable, well-focused action shots.

This image was a crop from a shot taken with the D7000 and the 35mm f1.8G lens.


Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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torwood Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Dec 2010Mon 05-Dec-11 05:47 PM
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#10. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 9


Jefferson Hills, US
          

Thank you all for your comments. I'm feeling a little less down today. It's just that I didn't need to do any of this when I stepped up from the 6mp D50 to the 12mp D90. The images were just better. But, sending the camera back, or to Nikon, is the most difficult option, so I'm going to exhaust the others first. Here is my plan:

1. I'm going to setup a test to confirm that my D7000 can take sharp, properly focused shots from a tripod, of still subjects.

2. I'll check to see if I have release priority set in AF-C. If I do, then I'll try AF-C Focus Priority. The lighting is way more challenging in hoops, and I know that affects focus. I'll also check my D90 to see how that is setup. Last year's photos were taken with that camera, and to be honest, my keeper percentage wasn't as high as I'd like then, but it was far better in terms of focus than with the D7000. The D7000 shots are better exposed with far less noise, though. That is undisputed. It's also possible that I had higher tolerance with the D90, because I blamed the sensor for not being good enough at high ISO's.

3. I would consider upgrading my D lenses to AFS lenses. With the 50mm, that would be an easy decision. With the 85mm, that gets more expensive (to basically replace a historically sharp Nikon lens with the same thing). I did notice that when I went from the older 70-300 ED lens to the newer 70-300 AFS VR lens this summer, I got better, and more keepers. I just thought is was the optical improvement in the lens formula. Maybe I was getting sharper photos due to AFS? I shoot baseball and football with the D90 and 70-300, and I always pre-focus on the QB or RB prior to the snap.

I guess what has me spooked is this: I have never been 100% satisfied with my basketball images, which is why I bought the D7000 and considered (briefly) the D700. But, I love my baseball and football images just the way they are. I hope I don't have to make any compromises in technique, speed, or lenses for those sports, just to use the D7000.

Thanks again for your helpful advice. I'll let you know if things improve. And, it appears I am now safe around the kitchen knives.

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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Mon 05-Dec-11 06:01 PM
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#12. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 10


Atlanta, US
          

I found the Focus priority did not work for my wildlife images. I tried it and switched back to Release Priority.

One other thing to look at is your noise reduction settings. Noise reduction can make images look soft. It potentially creates other problems - like too much noise, but may help.

Eric Bowles
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BigdaddyG Registered since 30th Jun 2011Mon 05-Dec-11 07:08 PM
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#14. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 9


US
          

I am curious, what aperture was this shot taken at. The players in the background are pretty well in focus for a 1.4 or 1.8 fstop.

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dbvisions Silver Member Nikonian since 25th Jan 2011Tue 06-Dec-11 09:27 AM
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#29. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 14
Tue 06-Dec-11 09:49 AM by dbvisions

Ringgold, US
          

Exposure was 1/640, f/1.8, ISO 1100
D7000, 35mm f1.8G

This is the out of the camera, uncropped original with only the camera and lens profiles set and the NEF converted to jpg in LR3.




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torwood Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Dec 2010Mon 05-Dec-11 06:12 PM
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#13. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 8


Jefferson Hills, US
          

Thanks, Eric. I typically set AF-C (I'll check if I have focus or release priority set), Single Point, Continuous High. I then focus the center AF point on my subject with the shutter release, and follow that subject, keeping the shutter release half-pressed, and the center AF point on the subject. In sports, I focus on the players chest, typically, and try to stay there as they move.

I have no problem getting in-focus shots in baseball and football (admittedly outdoors in good light) with this technique. One big difference between baseball/football and hoops, is that in bb/fb, I can pre-focus and lock focus prior to the swing/snap. In basketball, especially under the rim, I have to make quick movements because I don't always know where the ball is going. I do pre-focus close to where I think the action will be, but maybe my older AFD lenses aren't fast enough to aquire and refocus when I change subjects under the hoop? Then again, my AFS 35 f1.8 missed focus a lot too.

I know from tweaking my golf swing that you can't try ten new things all at once and figure out which one worked. So, what would you change first from this AF approach?

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PerroneFord Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2011Mon 05-Dec-11 07:15 PM
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#15. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 13


Tallahassee, US
          

Because no one else said it, I'll say it. Shooting at 1.8, your focus is so narrow you won't be able to get the ball and the face in focus at the same time most likely. There's probably nothing wrong with your camera at all.

I shoot indoor volleyball which moves faster than basketball in most instances. My AF-S lenses are just barely fast enough for me to track action instead of players. But at F2.8, if there are two players opposing each other at the net (about 4ft apart head to head, I can't get both in focus at the same time. And that's a 2.8.

You might also look to see what your autofocus settings are, as this can cause issues. I think the D7000 will let you use closest subject priority, which should allow you to not be focusing on things behind your intended subject. I had that same issue shooting soccer where the camera would gladly focus on a tree 60 yards behind my subject.

It's a learning process. I doubt seriously anything is wrong with your camera.

------
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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Mon 05-Dec-11 07:50 PM
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#16. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 13
Mon 05-Dec-11 08:18 PM by ericbowles

Atlanta, US
          

My suggestion is to start with the required depth of field. If you are using a 35mm f/1.8 and the subject is 20 feet away, at f/2.8 the depth of field is a little over 13 feet - 4 feet in front of your subject and 9 feet behind it. Now your subject will be what is sharpest, but you will have some room for error. With longer lenses the depth of field gets much smaller, so you may need to add a stop or two. Your 85mm lens at f/4 would have depth of field of just 18 inches in front and behind your subject at 20 feet.

Second, I would use AF-C with Release priority. You'll have more out of focus images, but the camera will not refuse to fire.

You may want to use Continuous High - but shoot small bursts of 3-5 frames or less. I think you could use Single just fine.

I think you are right to use the center focus sensor - it is faster than most of the others. I would use 11 points rather than 39 so you can easily move to alternative sensors if desired.

Set ISO so that shutter speed is 1/500 sec if possible.

When you are choosing a subject, pick a player that you can track. Don't switch players or subjects at the last second. Get used to tracking the player with a single AF sensor. Focus on anticipating the action you want to photograph.

Try out Dynamic AF for one quarter of the game. Let's see what the camera can do in terms of automation.

Eric Bowles
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torwood Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Dec 2010Mon 05-Dec-11 09:02 PM
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#18. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 16


Jefferson Hills, US
          

Thanks, Eric.

What is the formula for computing DOF?

I usually shoot short bursts in hoops, 3-5 frames. The only time I shoot a longer burst is if it's a fast break, or on certain dynamic plays in football.

When I shoot under the hoop in an elementary or middle school gym, my subject is usually only 10 feet away, or sometimes closer (which is why I can use these lense). As was noted, above, I know f1.8 is too shallow. I'll stop down a little and see what happens. I don't have my cameras with me today, but I'm pretty sure I've been shooting in Release Priority. I don't remember the camera ever refusing to fire. Then again, I'm not usually that far off with my aim.

In football, sometimes I do get a very clear shot of the coaches on the sideline instead of the runner, but I know THAT is user error. I also tend to shoot at smaller apertures outside to get more players in focus. I have the luxury with day games. I've been shooting sports for a couple years now, and I know I can take quality action shots once I figure out this camera.

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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Mon 05-Dec-11 09:45 PM
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#20. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 18


Atlanta, US
          

There are lots of depth of field calculators available online. I have one on my iPhone.

With an 85mm lens form 10 feet, your depth of field is a few inches at f/4 - less at f/2.8. Using a 50mm lens at 10 feet, you'd need to shoot at f/5.6 to have a foot in front of and behind your focus point. And the actual focus point is the sharpest so these are just "it will look sharp.

When you start moving away fro a subject - to photograph coaches or players form 20 yards away it becomes much easier.

I find the same issue with wildlife - when it is close, AF needs to be precise and your subject is moving very fast in relative terms. It takes lots of practice.

If you use a little longer lens and give yourself some room, you'll have an easier time tracking the subject and maintaining focus at critical action.

Basketball is really hard - dim light in gyms, close action, little space to work. Stick with it.

Eric Bowles
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Gamecocks Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jul 2010Tue 06-Dec-11 01:43 AM
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#24. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 18


Joanna, US
          

Hi Ryan,

Keep working with the camera and you will probably start getting better pictures. Technique and settings are very important and although there are some faulty lens or bodies it is doubtful if this is the case. For DOF, go the dofmaster.com (I believe it is still working) which gives you a chance to try different settings. Good luck.

John

Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><

  

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kuzzy Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Dec 2005Tue 06-Dec-11 03:13 AM
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#26. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 18


Milford, US
          

Hello Ryan,

I am sorry to hear about your frustration with the D7000 but I do not think you need to panic just yet.

One of the settings you should check is a-3 (Focus Tracking)depending on how you shoot this may be part of the problem. I have focus tracking set to low, in this setting the camera quickly begins to refocus if say a ref runs between you and the player you were focused on. I know you would think a higher setting would be better but I found that higher settings slowed down the entire process of changing players when I wanted to and seemed to me (probably the way I shoot)to inhibit my ability to get sharp images more than it helped. You may want to adjust that setting and see if changing it helps you out.

Also, shooting basketball I found my best results came from using 9 pt dynamic. Using the AE button as AF-on really seems to work better than the shutter button half depressed when shooting sports with this camera, I have had better success using this method with this camera.

It took me a while to find the sweet spots for what I take images of as well. I did have a little back focus issue with my 50 f1.8 but I just used focus fine tune to make a little adjustment and it was good to go. I doubt you have a major problem with the camera.

A couple of images to look at would help. DOF is no different than with your D90 with one little caveat, there are more pixels to show you every little thing, good and bad, so that when DOF is too shallow it really shows up when you look fairly closely at the images.

Marc
There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.-Ansel Adams

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Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003Tue 06-Dec-11 12:57 PM
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#31. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 18


Yorkshire, GB
          

>What is the formula for computing DOF?
It is complex - and ideally is best done with a calculator.
DOF is not constant - you perceive a lot less viewing at 100% than in a 10x8 inch print.
As a starting point with fast apertures and large magnification (perhaps a 2 foot wide subject) you get very little DOF which, for photographic purposes, is equal in front and behind the focal point.
As the aperture gets smaller and magnification reduces (perhaps a 15 foot wide subject) you get more DOF in front of the focus point and proportionately more behind the focus point.
There comes a combination, known as Hyperfocal Distance, where DOF behind the focus point is infinitely greater than in front.
Print size, amount of cropping, and to a lesser extent focal length are factors which modify DOF - it is "the fashion" to download something from the web.
If you are moderately good at maths the calculations are easily done with mental arithmetic - but in the modern world that is out of fashion.

Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

Len Shepherd

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Tue 06-Dec-11 02:57 AM
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#25. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 13


Richmond, US
          

> I have no problem getting in-focus shots in baseball and football (admittedly outdoors in good light) with this technique.

If you can get in-focus shots for some other environment, your camera does not "back focus." If it suffers from back-focus, it will ALWAYS back focus.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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torwood Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Dec 2010Tue 06-Dec-11 03:16 PM
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#33. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 25


Jefferson Hills, US
          

I have yet to shoot outdoor sports with the D7000. That work was done with the D90. It just demonstrates that I have decent enough technique to make good images under those conditions, and with the D90 and my current lenses.

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ChrisPlatt Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2011Tue 06-Dec-11 03:26 AM
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#27. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 13


US
          

Have you tried the 21 point dynamic area autofocus setting that the manual recommends for shooting sports? Single point is only recommended for stationary subjects.

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PAStime Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2009Mon 05-Dec-11 11:32 PM
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#21. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 8
Mon 05-Dec-11 11:32 PM by PAStime

Kingston, CA
          

Hi. This comment:

>The 16mp of the D7000 does require some adjustment. The D200
>had similar challenges with a large step up in image size and
>many of us had to discard all images from the first few
>outings.

...and this one:

> D7000 is more motion sensitive than a D90 due to the
> density of sensels on the DX sensor.

...make no sense to me! How can a greater number of pixels (larger sensor and/or more pixels per square mm) make a camera more sensitive or more difficult to use? I appreciate that at 100% viewing the magnification is somewhat higher but that of course doesn't justify the statements. A similar view (say, filling a 24" monitor or printing an 8x10) will not require any more skill in using the camera.

Cheers,
Peter

  

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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Tue 06-Dec-11 01:39 AM
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#23. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 21


Atlanta, US
          

Peter

When you step up the pixel count, you step up detail. That's good if everything is sharp, but it can also reveal softness that is not seen at lower pixel levels. The higher pixels are also more demanding on lenses. Lenses that are at the lower end of acceptability may fall short.

In the case of the D200, there was a new AF system and 60% more pixels compared to the D70. It was much less forgiving.

I did a search on focus errors with the D200. I turned up nearly as many responses as for the D7000 in spite of the fact the D200 problems were concentrated with the initial release 5 years or so ago. The D200 took a lot of concentration to get AF right - but it rewarded the effort.

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TheDraftsman Registered since 20th Jan 2011Tue 06-Dec-11 09:25 AM
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#28. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 21
Tue 06-Dec-11 09:28 AM by TheDraftsman

middlesex, US
          

>Hi. This comment:
>
>>The 16mp of the D7000 does require some adjustment. The
>D200
>>had similar challenges with a large step up in image size
>and
>>many of us had to discard all images from the first few
>>outings.
>
>...and this one:
>
>> D7000 is more motion sensitive than a D90 due to the
>> density of sensels on the DX sensor.
>
>...make no sense to me! How can a greater number of pixels
>(larger sensor and/or more pixels per square mm) make a camera
>more sensitive or more difficult to use? I appreciate that
>at 100% viewing the magnification is somewhat higher but that
>of course doesn't justify the statements. A similar view
>(say, filling a 24" monitor or printing an 8x10) will not
>require any more skill in using the camera.
>
>Cheers,
>Peter


It doesn't make sense to a lot of new users but the higher resolution sensor is less forgiving
with cheaper lenses and user skill is more important now than ever with good lenses.

The D7000 is a completely different camera. A lot of people are expecting so much from it
with out understanding first that the camera is more sensitive to camera shake and poor
user skills. The sensor on the D7000 is going to let you know it and using the correct
lenses for the situation is also more important now.

Also the world wide web induced back focusing issue has over time become a dead issue.
Maybe a few actually had the problem in the first production run and Canon users have
gotten' some milage out of it, but there are a lot of new users that need to stop reading
stuff from last year!!

Visit Current D90 Set-up.


http://fototime.com/{04CF383D-D221-4184-A88C-5F1B6AFC4AE4}/origpict/proudownerfinal.png

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ChrisPlatt Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2011Tue 06-Dec-11 11:40 AM
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#30. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 28


US
          

I believe Peter's point was that the higher resolution sensor is only less forgiving if you examine the larger image sizes - 100% crops - made possible by the higher pixel density. I agree with that observation. I haven't found the D7000 less forgiving than my D200 and I didn't find my D200 less forgiving than my D70 IF I viewed images at the same enlargement size (screen or print) I used used with the previous camera. On the contrary, I found that in each case I just ended up with better images right out of the box.

However, I think the many autofocus options on the D7000 are a challenge to understand and learn and picking a setup that is not compatible with the shooting situation can easily lead to disappointing results. It takes reading and practice. It's very easy to get bolloxed up in the field if the settings and purpose for those settings haven't been programmed into the photographer. I'm still working on that part.

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torwood Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Dec 2010Tue 06-Dec-11 03:31 PM
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#34. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 30


Jefferson Hills, US
          

I have to agree. I noticed very little difference in forgiveness going from my D50 (6mp) to my D90 (12mp), and that was a bigger jump than from the D90 to the D7000. The images were just better, right out of the box. I attributed that to faster, more accurate AF, and a superior sensor.

That is why the D7000 is frustrating for me. As a hobbiest, I don't really have the time to invest in "mastering" a camera, like breaking a wild horse or something.

I'll do it, because I want the quality of my basketball photos to roughly match the quality of my baseball and football photos, but I don't have to like it. I know basketball is hard, but my kids both play at a pretty high level (for their ages), and I love shooting the games.

I can accept having to upgrade some of my lenses. It stinks, not only because of the cost, but because there aren't acceptably priced AFS alternatives to lenses like the 85 f1.8D. Right now, I have to test my D7000 to ease my mind about the back-focus. Then, once I prove it can focus on the subject, I need to work on my settings and technique. It is the only option I have to better low light images, and I really do love the size, weight, and handling of the camera.

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PicChick Registered since 29th Nov 2011Tue 06-Dec-11 01:04 AM
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#22. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 0


North Bay, CA
          

Well Ryan, if it's any consolation, I am having the same issues as you. I chose the D7000 over the D300s and I am so disappointed. I purchased my camera about a month before heading to London, England for a week this past summer. I ended up leaving my D7000 at home and opted to take my D200. I just could not get a clear picture.

In my case, it's operator error. I took my camera back to Henry's (a camera store chain in Canada) to complain about the lack of "tack sharp" photos. They said that if anything was wrong with the camera they would gladly replace it, but nothing was wrong with it. They also told me that every camera has a "sweet spot".

Based on what I have been reading on your thread, and the website, is that it's going to take some tweaking of my camera settings to get a tack sharp photo in each and every situation. It's a huge learning curve, but in the end I am hoping it will make me a much better photographer...I hope.

My plan is to...

1. Do a couple of test shots with my different lenses to see if there is any difference in the sharpness of them. I have an AF-S VR 70-300 ED lens, an AF-S VR 18-105 DX lens and a 50mm 1.8 D. The test shots will be done with a stationary object. I'm kinda worried about my 50 mm lens because one of the posts mentioned that the "D" lenses can't keep up.

2. Try some of the settings offered on this thread.

Other than that, I'm not sure what else I can do.

Good luck with your research.

I'm going to keep watch on this thread to see if any other suggestions come up.

Take care
Monica



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paddlenut Registered since 08th Oct 2011Tue 06-Dec-11 01:35 PM
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#32. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 22


belmar, US
          

I am a member of a camera club in which four of us have the d7000..two are complaining about back focus..one fellow sent his back to Nikon and he now claims all is right in the world. Send it back..have them check it out. they are wonderful about fixing problems. Once your at peace then you can work on technique.I will also mention that the fellow that sent his in to Nikon is a pro level photograher..so it was NOT technique that was the problem. I was lucky to get a good copy I guess. Purchased in SEPT 2011

  

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torwood Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Dec 2010Tue 06-Dec-11 03:52 PM
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#36. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 22


Jefferson Hills, US
          

Maybe we can work through this together? I'll keep posting as I figure things out. Two things I am certain of:

1. Some of these cameras have a back-focus issue that is not the users fault. And, that percentage is higher than it is with other Nikons.

2. I don't have enough info/experience with it yet to determine if mine is one of them. I need to test the camera with my primes and zooms on stationary and moving targets.

It makes no sense to me that the 50 f1.8D, which focused nearly instantly on my more primative N60, N80, D50, and D90, is too slow to keep up with moving subjects on a D7000. It may be that the 50mm f1.8 itself has a back-focus issue with the D7000, since it seems to be the worst of my lenses on this camera. If so, then I'll fine-tune it. But, I'm not fine-tuning for every lens I own. If that is needed, the camera is going to Nikon for service, or on EBAY.

I will experiment over the next month with different settings, so I'll keep you posted. It does make you want to scream, though. This is supposed to be fun, and I have been losing sleep for days, because I don't have time to start testing until the weekend.

If I can't solve this, it really may be an issue that forces me to look at Canon. I'm not crazy about the handling of their bodies, but their lens line-up is better for outdoor field sports, if only for the 100-400L. For the last three years, probably 90% of my photography has been sports. If I can't make the D7000 work for sports, then there is no basketball solution for me in the Nikon line. For the cost of a D700, or whatever replaces it, I could buy a Canon 60D and all the lenses I need for hoops.

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beemerman2k Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Mar 2006Tue 06-Dec-11 04:05 PM
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#37. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 36


Ellington, US
          

Well, the good news is I doubt you'll have any trouble selling that Nikon D7000!

Beemerman2k
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Gamecocks Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jul 2010Tue 06-Dec-11 05:41 PM
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#39. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 36


Joanna, US
          

Really regret hearing about your problems but as others have tired to explain the D7000 is not a point and shoot camera and, therefore, it takes more than what you may be willing to work for.
Some bodies and/or lens - no matter what make or model - may have a problem but that can be resolved. Many have thought that their D7000 had issues only to find out, after really putting forth a true effort, that they themselves were the real issue. Now, they are totally happy and getting "pro" results. This camera causes you to learn. Not saying that you have not put in a true effort but it appears that you have already made your decision and looking for approval to go in another direction.

Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><

  

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ChrisPlatt Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2011Tue 06-Dec-11 06:55 PM
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#41. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 36
Tue 06-Dec-11 08:59 PM by ChrisPlatt

US
          

The best way to work through this is to post links to raw files for images you believe had focus problems along with the focus settings you used. Without actual images to analyze, all replies here are speculation based on the experience of the responder, which may or may not be relevant to the specific problems you're encountering.

"It makes no sense to me that the 50 f1.8D, which focused nearly instantly on my more primative N60, N80, D50, and D90, is too slow to keep up with moving subjects on a D7000. " That doesn't make much sense to me either, but the D7000 is a different camera with different focus options and settings you're not used to may provide better results.

IMO, there isn't much point in talking in general terms about whether the D7000 has more or less back focus issues than other Nikon cameras. That will just start a shouting match. There's no body of empirical data that I know of that will support that conclusion. We have a large body of anecdotal comments from users new to the camera. Although we won't question their ability or whether they had focus issues, we also don't know if or how they were ultimately resolved. Your camera and your technique are the only issues that matter in this thread.

We know for starters that the autofocus setting you've been trying (single point) is not the focus setting recommended by Nikon for erratically moving subjects in a sports venue with the D7000. That setting may not be wrong, but I'd certainly start by trying Nikon's recommended setting - either 9 or 21 point dynamic area focus depending on how predictable the movement is. Let's see if that changes the results. The D7000 is an impressive piece of technology capable of delivering outstanding results - I hope it works out that way for you without too much more frustration.

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rhammers Registered since 09th Jun 2007Tue 06-Dec-11 09:09 PM
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#42. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 36


erie, US
          

You really need to take some pics with a tripod and self timer and post them. The movement with sports poses too many variables. BTW, I think mine has it too and while I do get some nice shots if I shoot above F4 to F6, I still cannot get my 50mm 1.8 to focus correctly and even with the fine tune it isn't consistent. What I am seeing is that where the focus square lies is not in focus, but you can see that behind that on another surface it comes into focus. Please post some pics as I would really like to see if it looks similar to what I see.

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Bob Chadwick Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Jan 2006Tue 06-Dec-11 09:18 PM
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#43. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 42
Tue 06-Dec-11 09:19 PM by Bob Chadwick

Norcross, US
          

Ryan,

Did you ever do the focus testing that has been suggested? You may be right and there could be a back focus issue with the D7000. But the bottom line is that even of there is, until you do some testing you don't know if yours is one of them.

Bob

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PicChick Registered since 29th Nov 2011Wed 07-Dec-11 08:16 PM
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#47. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 36
Sun 11-Dec-11 01:05 PM by briantilley

North Bay, CA
          


Dear torwood:

I have begun my test shots and will post some of them later tonight for comment. Looking forward to working this through.

Monica

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billD80 Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2007Wed 07-Dec-11 08:40 PM
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#49. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 36


US
          

>Maybe we can work through this together? I'll keep posting
>as I figure things out. Two things I am certain of:
>
>1. Some of these cameras have a back-focus issue that is not
>the users fault. And, that percentage is higher than it is
>with other Nikons.

Really? Please document this certainty.


>2. I don't have enough info/experience with it yet to
>determine if mine is one of them.

Agreed. That's why premise 1 is so shaky.


>If I can't solve this, it really may be an issue that forces
>me to look at Canon.

Why not just go for a purchase? I say this because checking a camera for a problem such as you mention shouldn't be so difficult. It should be apparent. The camera either can or cannot focus properly.

Have you posted any of the problematic images? That would really help. I probably missed them...

Personally, I shot my D7000 using a 150mm lens, capturing a dance team at close range pretty handily.

My guess is you have not yet figured out how to configure the 3D Continuous Focus on the D7000. But if a Canon is better, go for it.

Unless one is paid to do so, life is too short for spending time on testing cameras.

www.billkeane.zenfolio.com

  

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J_Harris Silver Member Nikonian since 29th Mar 2011Wed 07-Dec-11 09:43 PM
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#50. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 49
Wed 07-Dec-11 09:49 PM by J_Harris

US
          


Ryan (Torwood),

Thanks for the extensive testing you performed. It's good that through your efforts and the helpful advice from other Nikonians you have discovered your D7000 doesn't back focus.

I continue to follow with interest threads such as yours were back focus and other D7000 issues (real or not) are discussed and hopefully resolved. This is how a lot of us new to photography and the D7000 can cut through the fog of internet clutter.

Thanks again.

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beemerman2k Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Mar 2006Tue 06-Dec-11 03:42 PM
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#35. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 0


Ellington, US
          

For the first 6 months of owning my D7000, I swore up and down that it over exposed in Matrix Metering mode. Brian and others tried to explain to me that odds are overwhelming its me, not the camera. Then, Digital Darrell questioned whether I had set my picture mode to "Vibrant". Sure enough, I had done exactly that. When I reset it to "Standard", my matrix metered photos in bright daylight were exposed exactly the way they should have been. Doh! At that point I am complaining: "why can't Nikon make a camera that ignores my settings?!"

In any case, how about posting some examples of a back focused image? This way, we can read the EXIF data and maybe help see what settings might be contributing to the problem?

Here's a shot of my daughter's basketball practice from this past weekend, shot with my D7000, and the Nikon 50mm F1.8 AFS-G:



I'm not suggesting this is perfect technique by any means! Just that its definitely doable, that's all. So so much more pleasantly and easily so than when I used to do this with my D70s!

Beemerman2k
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jla40 Registered since 05th Dec 2011Tue 06-Dec-11 05:21 PM
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#38. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 35


US
          

Dear Depressed: Try this and just do all the steps even if it doesn't make sense to you:
1. Go into your shooting menu and set it back to default.
2. Go into your customs menu and set it back to default.
3. Now do the two-button reset and hold for four seconds.
4. Turn camera off, then on again.
Try some shots now.

  

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beemerman2k Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Mar 2006Wed 07-Dec-11 12:18 AM
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#44. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 38


Ellington, US
          

I think this is the most important advise in this thread.

The D7000 has so many settings, I often change things that I later completely forget about. It is easy to do that; then later wonder why the camera is exhibiting a particular characteristic.

Reset all the settings! Eliminate those obscure settings from being a factor in your results. Now, do not change a setting unless you understand what it does and how it might effect other factors in capturing images (exposure, focusing, metering, etc).

In any case, now you're closer to isolating the factors to simply your technique and the characteristics of the camera.

Beemerman2k
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mudman2 Silver Member Nikonian since 14th May 2009Tue 06-Dec-11 06:03 PM
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#40. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 35
Tue 06-Dec-11 06:07 PM by mudman2

Jamison, US
          

When you look at the moon thru a telescope, simple vibration in your hands move your target image 20 miles or more. You need a large tripod on granite to get stable, analogue world.

On the camera (digital world) the gaps between pixels become less the more there are, that increases sensitivity to movement.

The higher the MP, the more aids that have to be used to get the best out of the camera.

An F16 cannot be flown without aids for example, a spitfire could.

I think the required skill set is migrating from a solely creative one to more of a technician. However once mastered the creative comes back to the fore.

The camera manufacturers are going to have to get much better in reducing the clutter in settings to make it easier to use as the MP increases

If you think its bad now wait till we're at 30MP +

IMHO

  

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torwood Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Dec 2010Thu 08-Dec-11 12:41 AM
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#53. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 35


Jefferson Hills, US
          

I'm glad you like your images in Standard picture mode. I tend to like my colors bold, especially if there is anything but people in them. I shoot in Vibrant, or whatever the equivelent was for the D50 and D90. If I thought the camera was over-exposing in my preferred mode, I'd probably dial in some negative compensation before I'd change modes. I always thought the flash on the D50 over-exposed, so I always shot that flash with minus 2/3 stops of flash compensation.

I do like Standard for portraits and family shots, though.

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jla40 Registered since 05th Dec 2011Wed 07-Dec-11 02:25 AM
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#45. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

The reset absolutely, truly, yeah verily, will not and cannot hurt anything. I was having horrible backfocus problems, along with a lot of other people. I called Nikon and that was their advice. It worked like magic for most of us. And it's a starting point if, after that, you are still having problems. Don't be afraid to do it. The manual tells you how to do the 2-button reset. As far as shooting menu and custom menu are concerned, people set those back to default routinely. That's why the options are there.

  

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torwood Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Dec 2010Wed 07-Dec-11 08:33 PM
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#48. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 45
Wed 07-Dec-11 08:43 PM by torwood

Jefferson Hills, US
          

Thanks everybody for being so interested in this. Whether the D7000 backfocuses or not, a lot of people on both sides seem to have a lot of emotional energy invested in proving their point.

That said....I'm now pretty sure I don't have a faulty camera. I conducted the following test this afternoon:

1. I attached three playing cards to glass cannisters and placed them on a long table about 3-5 feet from the camera (depending on focal length I was testing). I placed them side by side, but I staggered the distance from the camera by about 6 inches. I placed the camera on a table-top tripod, as close to perpendicular to the center crad as possible. I then conducted two tests:

2. I took test shots at wide open and stopped down a couple stops with the folowing lenses: AFS 35 f1.8, 50 f1.8D, 85 f1.8D, 35-70 f2.8D, and AFS 16-85 f3.5-5.6 (VR-off). The first four are my fastest lenses. The 16-85 is my normal DX zoom. I set the camera to AF-C, Focus Priority, Continuous H, High ISO NR (LOW), single point AF (center). I shot in aperture priority mode, with available light, using the timer-release. I took shots at f1.8, 2.8, 4, and 5.6, and varied the ISO from 200, 1600, and 3200. All of the lenses focused perfectly, on the center (intended) subject, in ALL shots.

3. I then repeated the test, but I prefocused on a target about 12 feet behind my cards (far enough that each lens was visibly out of focus on the target. I then recomposed with the center AF sensor on the center card, and fired the shutter (without pre-focusing) in continuous High, until the center image came into focus. I repeated this many times for each lens. It took every lens no fewer than 3 shots to focus on the center card. On average, it took between 3-6 shots for the lenses to adjust focus from the starting point to tack sharp on the center card. The next to last shot before accurate focus, was perfectly focused on the card 6" behind the center card, almost every time (looking a lot like back-focus). This out-of-focus adjustment was far more out of focus than my starting point for under the basket basketball shots. That said, this target was also stationary.

It didn't seem to matter which lens or focal length was used, or which aperture, or ISO Setting was used. Shutter speeds were pretty much between 1/200-1/500, which is slower than I shoot for any sport. If anything, it took more frames to focus with faster shutter speeds. This probably means that the absolute focus speed is pretty constant, and the camera simply has more time to fire more out-of-focus frames at higher shutter speeds before focus is acquired.

If I had to rank the lenses, I'd say the 35-70D (at 70mm) was the fastest to secure focus, while the 50 f1.8D and the AFS 35 f1.8 were the slowest. The AFS lenses were no faster than the AFD lenses. That said, EVERY lens focused in as few as 4 shots at least once, and each took 6 or more shots at least once or twice. The average was 5-6 frames to sharp focus.

What did I learn:

1. It appears that the camera focuses just fine if it has time to focus before the shutter fires. Interestingly, I had the camera set to Focus Priority (checked it twice), and it still fired (many frames) before acquiring focus (probably because it had been "focused" on a more distant target). This camera can fire nearly 35% faster than my D90, which might explain why I get more out-of-focus shots with the D7000. Also, I normally only shoot 3-4 shots a burst. So, I'm stopping before the camera/lens has any chance to catch-up to the change in focus distance. Conclusion: I'm nearly certain the camera isn't back-focusing.

2. It doesn't appear that I have any lenses that can change focus from that relatively modest distance, fast enough for the first or second shot to be in focus, especially in lower light. I highly doubt that the pro AFS zooms would have performed much better in my test, since they are moving a lot more glass than an AFS 35 prime or a small 16-85 AFS zoom. That said, I have never owned one, so I have no proof of this. I do believe that shutter release technique can improve on performance, since I did manage to "occassionally" get in focus within 3-4 frames. But that first or second one is NEVER going to be in focus.

3. I plan to adjust my technique to try to be more conscientious about pre-focus on my subject prior to shutter release. I thought I was doing this, but apparently not so much. I will also try to start my burst earlier, and prolong it longer, to time-up the good action with the sweet spot of the AF system. I may also try moving focus to the back button, thereby assuring that I'll focus before firing the shutter. I'll probably lose a lot of shots at first, but it may make me better in the end.

4. Based on my test, I can explain why my shots of fast-breakers were out of focus, despite there being nobody else to focus on in the frame. I may not have been allowing the camera to lock focus prior to asking it to track focus while shooting. I have to work on my technique for that. I seem to do this fine with the D90 in baseball and football, albeit in much better light, and with longer lenses.

Please forgive this long post, but I think my test was a success, since it proved to me that the camera is not back-focusing. Now the question becomes whether I can adequately adjust my technique, and whether the same may be required with field sports. I should be shooting a couple games this weekend, so we'll see how it goes.

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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Wed 07-Dec-11 10:16 PM
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#51. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 48


Atlanta, US
          

Nice job of starting to wrap your arms around the subject of AF. I think your conclusions sound reasonable and you're headed the right direction. It makes sense that a fast frame rate works against having enough time to find focus.

As you suggest in #4, you will need to work on technique to support the ability of the camera to maintain focus once you lock on the target. I think as you find clean AF targets (like the numbers on the jersey) you'll improve your ability to obtain focus and then follow the subject.

Another area you might use for testing is which sensors work best for both framing and AF. I found that the center sensor is very fast, but it caused me to lean to centered compositions.

Sounds like you have a good plan of areas where you can practice and improve your ratio of keepers. It will take practice, but you will probably find a really nice payoff.


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torwood Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Dec 2010Thu 08-Dec-11 12:36 AM
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#52. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 51


Jefferson Hills, US
          

Thanks, Eric. To be fair, after I thoroughly analyzed what I was doing in the last shoot, I put the camera (and the photographer) in some pretty bad situations. For instance, I was trying to acquire focus on a fast moving player, coming directly toward the camera, in low light, at a large aperture (small DOF). It doesn't get much more challenging than that. One of my challenges (shooting styles) is that I only shoot half the gym. I don't have long and fast lenses (mine are just short and fast), so I typically only shoot my team's offensive end of the court. You don't get anything good aiming down there anyway, except a mass of players all smashed together by compressed perspective.

Soooo, I think I'll try to lock focus on a guard at the other end of the floor, and predict who might get a fast break. I might also just wait a little longer to fire the shutter, as well as experiment with other focus modes (although anything other than single point requires a lot of faith on my part, not my strongest virtue).

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ChrisPlatt Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2011Thu 08-Dec-11 02:15 AM
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#54. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 48


US
          

Thanks for posting this detailed analysis. It should be helpful for anyone trying to understand autofocus on the D7000.

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Thu 08-Dec-11 11:17 AM
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#55. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 48


Richmond, US
          

This may be of some help in demonstrating what's possible. You're right that you were picking some pretty difficult situations, but these lenses are capable of surprising things. For example, consider this one:



I show the entire frame so that you can see the context. I started tracking this kart 50 feet earlier, near what is now the upper right hand corner of the frame. Although it looks like it's not in focus, that's a false impression. The driver's helmet is in crisp focus, and the rest is blurry-looking due to the change in subject distance combined with the shutter speed (this is 1/100th). This kart is not one of the quick ones - but at about 25mph it is a whale of a lot faster than any basketball player. The lens is the 35-70/f2.8 AFD. I shot this with AF-C, probably single-point mode, on a D2h. It is entirely possible that a D2h can drive the lens faster than a D7000 - not having used a D7000 I can't comment on that. But the lens is clearly capable of things like this.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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torwood Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Dec 2010Thu 08-Dec-11 03:03 PM
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#56. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 55


Jefferson Hills, US
          

Thanks for posting. As soon as I saw your photo, I knew that you achieved focus on the driver's head. I just assumed you had a relatively short DOF. I'm willing to bet that the D7000 is just fine in tracking focus, once lock-on is achieved. My D90 could do it in football and baseball (and baseball players running to first are faster than basketball players on a fast-break) - and they're coming straight at the camera. Even my D50 could do it. The D7000 has to be superior to the D90 and the D50. My problem has to be technique and the more challenging light of indoor basketball.

I "think" my biggest problem with my first shoot was proper/early focus lock-on. That will be my number one thing to work on this weekend, and we'll see what the results are.

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Thu 08-Dec-11 03:16 PM
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#57. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 56
Thu 08-Dec-11 03:19 PM by blw

Richmond, US
          

> I just assumed you had a relatively short DOF.

LOL - nope, this was shot at f/18, necessary in order to get the shutter speed down to 1/100th. And of course there is no EXIF data on this, but I'm fairly sure that I was using a CP too - yes, even though this lens rotates during focusing. This shot was three or four years ago so I probably do not remember the circumstances perfectly, but my recollection was that I needed to do that to get within proper exposure boundaries as the D2h doesn't have a Lo-1 setting and I sure didn't bring the grad ND kit on a motorsports trip...

> Even my D50 could do it

Yep. And now that you mention it, I have some shots taken with the D100 and the Tamron 90/f2.8 AFD Macro - of GrandAm racers. At about 130mph. Granted that those were in full sunlight (probably EV15 or EV16) but the point is that even slug-slow lenses on slug-slow cameras can track some pretty fast subjects. (Rumages around...)

Here it is:



D100, Tamron 90/f2.8, f/2.8, 1/4000th, ISO 200, hand-held. It's hard to believe that there are many slower combinations than this. Now in this case the closing speed wasn't anywhere near the full 130mph, but even so it's obviously a LOT faster than any human.

(Edit: that was a pretty good guess on the EV: it's EV14, one stop short of "sunny 16" territory.)

> I "think" my biggest problem with my first shoot was proper/early focus lock-on.

I think you're right about that.

_____
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kuzzy Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Dec 2005Thu 08-Dec-11 06:53 PM
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#58. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 56
Fri 09-Dec-11 11:45 PM by kuzzy

Milford, US
          

Ryan, Glad to read your test results and to see that you seem to have a handle on things. I had tried using the AE button for focus in the past and did not care for it as it just felt too awkward however this football season I tried it again and found that I quickly got used to it and that I feel it improved my results enough that I am now hooked on it. I just have to remember to return the AF to the shutter when I let someone else use the camera

Good luck, cannot wait to see some results.

edit to add: As I mentioned in my previous post to this thread. Depending on what "focus tracking" (menu a3) is set to will directly affect the results of your test as the camera will wait to see if this focus distance change is momentary interference (think referee running through the frame) before beginning to aggressively refocus.

Marc
There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.-Ansel Adams

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kstrongs Registered since 04th Oct 2011Sat 10-Dec-11 04:13 AM
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#59. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 58


St. Thomas, CA
          

I have a suggestion.
Try using the Manual mode.
Set f stop to 2.8 or 3.2, maybe f4 depending on light.
Set Shutter speed to 1/500 or better.
Set ISO to Auto.
Set low ISO to 200, Set high ISO to 1600 or 3200.
Give it a try. Works great for Ice Hockey.
My first D7000 had a major back focus issue, early serial number. Swapped it for a more recent serial number and have adjusted my lens from right on (17-55 f2.8 d) to -1 (70-200 f2.8 vr1) or -2(80-400 f4-5.6 vr) depending on the lens.

  

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Sat 10-Dec-11 05:21 AM
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#60. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 58


St Petersburg, RU
          

Torwood, you used some pretty good diagnostic thinking to isolate problems so I am confident you will prevail over the camera issues. I find that most of the complaints about the D7000(or any new camera)are not accompanied by ANY logical or methodological problem solving on most forums. A lot of cameras got sent back and the camera forever viewed as a defective design by a lot of people who just do not think things through well.
Those who do, however, are rewarded with great results that make them forget the initial frustration very quickly. I've talked a few people with "defective" D7000's in my own neighborhood and in each case it was a user expecting one thing and doing another. They were full of habits that worked, of sorts, with their old camera and expected the same habits to yield acceptable results with a newer "better" camera. That reasoning presupposes that the old habits are based on fundamentals of photography, not work arounds for getting acceptable shots with the old camera. In all these cases the evidence is there in living color as to the source of the problem but conclusions are jumped to instead of considering the evidence.

Regarding pro lenses focusing quicker, there are a few points to consider. The larger the widest aperture available, the more focusing information available to the AF system, regardless of the exposure aperture since the final aperture is not set until the instant the shutter is opened. Another factor in AF speed and precision is the fact that higher end pro glass often is faster mechanically. For example my 70-200 focuses faster than say the much lower mass 50 1.8 despite the mass of the larger lens being many times that of the small elements of the plastic 50mm. But not all higher end lenses are faster, my 85 1.4D for example is slower than the 70-200 or 17-55 2.8 or 24-70 2.8. A 50 1.4G is no speed demon either. A 300 2.8 is however.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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BigdaddyG Registered since 30th Jun 2011Sun 11-Dec-11 03:06 AM
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#61. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 60
Sun 11-Dec-11 03:10 AM by BigdaddyG

US
          

This thread got me thinking. Since I purchased my D7000 I have not been happy with the focus. Being the optimist that I am, I read my manual, read other books, read every thing I could read on focusing the D7000. I tried all the different setting and I was never truly happy especially at large apertures. So I decided to print out one of the back focus charts. I set my camera up with my heavy duty Bogen 3221WN Focused on the center mark, used a cable release and time delay, and wow was I shocked. The center line was out of focus and the sharpest point was 2.5 to 3 inches behind it. I will post 2 pictures as soon as I figure out how to. Now Im a bit depressed.





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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sun 11-Dec-11 08:38 AM
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#62. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 61


Richmond, US
          

*sigh* please read the many threads about angled targets. You may or may not have any problem, but we can't tell from this test.

_____
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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Sun 11-Dec-11 06:05 PM
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#63. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 62


Dyserth, GB
          

I have only just come accross this post, so sorry to be late. Just about everybody who has contributed will remember my torturous route to master the D7000. Yes, I did have a faulty unit, returned it for a replacement and although better had weeks of focus difficulties. I did master it in the end, mainly by the support of folks here although it was an infuriating journey. As I had never had problems with my other Nikons I was blinded to the fact that this camera deserves it's own laerning curve and it is a steep one.

A big problem for me was my intended use, that of photographing often distant and moving wildlife and birds in flight. As a portrait or landscape camera there was no issue, it worked from day one satisfactorily. In the end I had to go back to basics and mentally accept that I was the problem and the fact that other cameras worked for me "out of the box" was confusing and annoying to me and basically realised I had a different beast now to tame.

I succeeded and now use the camera with great success for the reasons I purchased it. That said, it's not all good news. Due to and because of, the long up hill struggle I have never felt that my D7000 is a "friend" in camera terms as I did my D80,D90 and do now with my D700. That's a totally personally thing, the camera is very capable and will give you great results in time I promise.

As those on here have said it is totally achievable and I wish you luck,

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torwood Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Dec 2010Mon 12-Dec-11 12:06 AM
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#64. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 63


Jefferson Hills, US
          

Well, the problems were indeed my technique. Check out the basketball pics I posted over on the Sports Forum. I took them this weekend, and HURRAY!, they are in focus. They are also in my gallery.

I think my biggest problem was sloppy/lazy lock-on technique. I worked on that this weekend, and it was like night and day. I'm almost sorry that I ginned up this thread, but I guess some people did indeed have problem cameras.

That said, I never started a thread before that got 63 posts, so...., anybody got any lenses with bad focus? Just kidding.

This camera is terrific. It is so much faster and cleaner than my D90, and it seems to be more light sensitive - allowing me to shoot at lower ISO's and smaller apertures indoors than I could with my D90. And, it's cleaner when i have to crank the ISO up. It will definitely make me a better photographer.

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Gamecocks Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jul 2010Mon 12-Dec-11 01:36 AM
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#65. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 64
Mon 12-Dec-11 01:49 AM by Gamecocks

Joanna, US
          

So, you're not changing to Canon Glad you have got it worked out and can really enjoy your camera.

John

Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><

  

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torwood Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Dec 2010Mon 12-Dec-11 04:30 PM
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#70. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 65


Jefferson Hills, US
          

No, I'm not switching.

BUT, I still covet their 100-400L IS USM. That would be the only lense I would ever need for outdoor field sports. Actually, I like their lens catalog much better than Nikon's. I like Nikon bodies (and flash), MUCH better though, which is why I chose Nikon in 2000, when I bought my first AF body, and I could have gone either way.

Not regretting it.

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SaurianFire Registered since 11th Feb 2011Mon 12-Dec-11 05:44 AM
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#68. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 64
Mon 12-Dec-11 05:46 AM by SaurianFire

US
          

>Well, the problems were indeed my technique. Check out the
>basketball pics I posted over on the Sports Forum. I took
>them this weekend, and HURRAY!, they are in focus. They are
>also in my gallery.
>
>I think my biggest problem was sloppy/lazy lock-on technique.
>I worked on that this weekend, and it was like night and day.


Congrats on solving your focus problems so quickly.

Maybe I'm wrong but why the hell didn't you share your results and new technique with us here???

Still using these settings???:
>I set the camera to AF-C, Focus Priority, Continuous H, High ISO NR >(LOW), single point AF (center).

By Lock-on focus do you mean you wait for the focus light to come on before tracking your subject or are you just shooting a longer burst allowing the camera to achieve focus on your subject.???

Thanks

Respectfully,
Frank

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torwood Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Dec 2010Mon 12-Dec-11 04:45 PM
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#71. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 68


Jefferson Hills, US
          

OK, here you go. My current setup, which is evolving, of course, for indoor sports is:

AFC-Focus Priority
Focus Lock: on shutter release button
Continuous High
High ISO NR: Low
Single Point AF - Center Point
Shutter Priority Mode: Set to 1/500 or higher
ISO Set to give apertures in f2.8-f4 range (last shoot was ISO 2500)
Let aperture be the variable, using f1.8 lenses as a cushion.

Technique: Pick out a target by anticipating the action. Lock focus with center sensor on the chest of the target player. Wait a second or so, before firing. Then, fire bursts of at least 5 shots. I don't look at the focus light, but I do pause after focus-locking with the half-press of the shutter release, before firing, giving the lens time to adjust. Roll the shutter release button.

What I don't do anymore: Jab at the shutter. Try to compose, and fire the shutter immediately upon selecting the target, which results in the camera firing 3-4 out-of-focus shots before the lens has time to adjust. Shoot at f1.8, except when there is no alternative (although I got a few good shots from my first shoot at f1.8). Shoot real short 2-3 shot bursts (although, with proper focus lock, I got the first frame in focus much more often than I did when I first shot the camera).

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billD80 Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2007Mon 12-Dec-11 01:26 PM
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#69. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 64


US
          

>Well, the problems were indeed my technique. Check out the
>basketball pics I posted over on the Sports Forum. I took
>them this weekend, and HURRAY!, they are in focus. They are
>also in my gallery.
>

Nice work! The parents are probably thrilled.

www.billkeane.zenfolio.com

  

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BigdaddyG Registered since 30th Jun 2011Mon 12-Dec-11 02:58 AM
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#66. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 62


US
          

>*sigh* please read the many threads about angled targets.
>You may or may not have any problem, but we can't tell from
>this test.


Ok I will give you that. what about this pick this was taken with the candles on a stand staggered about 5 inches behind each other focus was on the center card. Please tell me which card seems to be more in focus.. Tripod, and remote trigger with 2 second delay


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BigdaddyG Registered since 30th Jun 2011Mon 12-Dec-11 03:31 AM
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#67. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 66
Mon 12-Dec-11 08:09 AM by briantilley

US
          


OK, I did some more tests and I am beginning to suspect my Nikkor 50 1.8. The 35 was sharper and my Tamron 17-50 was sharper. Maybe it the lens. It was the lens I have been using most and it seems that is when I experience most of my issues.

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torwood Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Dec 2010Mon 12-Dec-11 05:00 PM
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#72. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 67


Jefferson Hills, US
          

If it's any consolation, my 50 f1.8 tested fine with the D7000, but has produced the least keepers in my shoots so far with camera. I assume you made several test shots with each lens and that this isn't a one-off result.

My 35 f1.8 seems to produce much better images with this camera. You might try the micro-focus adjustment with the 50 f1.8.

I may pick-up the newer AFS 50mm, to compare them. I paid $95 for my 50 f1.8 in 2000, so it doesn't owe me anything.

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BigdaddyG Registered since 30th Jun 2011Mon 12-Dec-11 08:49 PM
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#73. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 72


US
          

>If it's any consolation, my 50 f1.8 tested fine with the
>D7000, but has produced the least keepers in my shoots so far
>with camera. I assume you made several test shots with each
>lens and that this isn't a one-off result.
>
>My 35 f1.8 seems to produce much better images with this
>camera. You might try the micro-focus adjustment with the 50
>f1.8.
>
>I may pick-up the newer AFS 50mm, to compare them. I paid $95
>for my 50 f1.8 in 2000, so it doesn't owe me anything.

I took about 100 shots last night. Im not happy but will keep trying. I want it to be either a lens or me. I love this camera too much to send it back. Its potential is unlimited but I have a lot of bad shots that should not be as bad as they are.

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Mon 12-Dec-11 09:16 PM
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#74. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 73


Dyserth, GB
          

Be careful though. When I went through this with my long lenses on the D7000 I initially ended up more confused than when I started. Friendly advice would be to take measured steps. Concentrate on one aspect of your technique at a time and analyse the results accordingly. Don't be tempted half way through to switch to another technique. Try using manual settings of speed and aperture and perhaps even using gentle EV value changes.

It's very much a case of gently, gently catchie monkey as is said. You will achieve the result, be patient.

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The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Einstein

  

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torwood Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Dec 2010Tue 13-Dec-11 02:21 PM
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#75. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 73
Tue 13-Dec-11 02:24 PM by torwood

Jefferson Hills, US
          

Can I recommend a few more things? I did this very similar test, as you can read above.

Try this test-shoot with very good light, maybe even outdoors. It doesn't look like you had very good light for these shots. I shot mine on a table with northern light from a giant bay window and overhead skylights illuminating the cards. Make sure that your targets are as close to perpendicular to the camera as possible. Try the shots with various apertures, shutter speeds, and ISO settings. Use the center sensor in various AF modes. (Maybe you did all of this). Remember, you're trying to prove that the camera CAN and DOES focus correctly, not that it/you won't occassionally miss a shot. What I learned is that there are so many variables to making a technically perfect photo, that we can't get it right 100% of the time.

If, after all this, you still think the camera is back-focusing, send it back for another sample. Life is too short to lose sleep over this, or adjust 10 lenses to fit a camera.

Finally, once you get a repeatably good focus on the intended target, with more than one lens, accept it as a good camera and work on technique. I found that nothing made me feel better than seeing some good real-world results. Once I stopped laying awake at night torturing myself, I was better able to work through the problem.

Believe me, I feel your pain. Read my near-suicidal (or worse, switch to Canon) posts from above. It IS frustrating that this upgraded camera requires us to change/improve our technique to use it. But, having never owned a "Pro" camera, or anything as good as this, I have just accepted that it's like flying a plane. Anyone can learn to fly a Cesna, and feel like they're a "pilot", but climb into an F16, and your skill set had better be a whole lot better or you're going to crash. Once you learn to fly that F16, the rewards are much greater.

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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Tue 13-Dec-11 02:31 PM
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#76. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 75


Atlanta, US
          

Nicely said.

Eric Bowles
Nikonians Team
My Gallery
Workshops

Nikonians membership — my most important photographic investment, after the camera

  

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Tue 13-Dec-11 03:58 PM
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#77. "RE: I'm so depressed over my D7000"
In response to Reply # 75


Dyserth, GB
          

Brilliantly put, exactly right.

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